Work continues this month on the next phase of the Saratoga Springs’ FiberCity project, a $32 million endeavor that will see fiber infrastructure available to every household, business, and institution citywide, officials said.
One month after SiFi Networks completed construction on the first phase, the city’s Department of Public Works confirmed that the construction methodologies used in the greenspace public right-of-way met the department’s stringent standards.
DPW Commissioner Jason Golub said that so far, the city has been pleased with the network’s greenspace construction methodologies.
“Installing in the greenspace with other utilities is a less invasive construction methodology. SiFi has assured us that they will be working with residents to communicate any issues during construction,” he said. “Throughout the recently completed phase, SiFi’s public interaction was great and the installation was a success. Only a few weeks have passed and you would hardly notice there was construction.”
The first homes on the network are slated to go-live this winter.
In green space construction, a narrow incision is dug either behind the curb or sidewalk to lay conduit that houses fiber cables. Underground radar and water jets are used in the process to avoid harming tree roots during construction. Residents along Myrtle, Marvin, and Van Rensselaer Streets who experienced firsthand what green space construction entails, told officials that they were pleased, according to the company.
“We took great care to replant grass, place fiber conduit under driveway pavers, and to avoid tree roots in the construction process,” said Robert Heaps, corporate vice president for SiFi Networks. “During construction, our team of community relations professionals went door-to-door to answer questions from residents.
“In the three-week construction period, the city did not receive a single complaint, which is what we’ll continue to strive for in the next phases of construction. In fact, people were coming out of their homes to thank all of us, which was great. Saratoga Springs’ FiberCity is a transformative project that will serve to connect all city residents and businesses to the digital economy.”
Todd Shimkus, president and CEO of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce said the project “is nothing short of revolutionary and will serve as an economic boon for our already strong economy. The best part is that the SiFi team is making a $32 million investment in our community, which is a game changer for Saratoga Springs and the region.”
Darryl Leggieri, president, Discover Saratoga said the hospitality sector in Saratoga Springs “has a sharp focus on enhancing the visitor experience. Becoming New York state’s first gigabit city with the first open access network will serve to bolster our position that Saratoga Springs is a great place to live, work, visit, and enjoy. Our hotels are particularly excited about the promise of this network as it will be a vast improvement to the visitor experience.”
Ryan E. McMahon, executive director, said the project will usher in a new wave of digital connectivity. “We’ll be able to better manage the flow of traffic, make it easier for drivers to find parking spaces, enhance the visitor experience, and make the cost of delivering government services more efficient. Most importantly, it’ll be nice to stream video and download files without buffering and slowdowns.”
One key element of the FiberCity network is that it will be made available to every address—business, residential, and institution—within Saratoga Springs. This includes low-income housing units that are typically passed over by internet service providers.
“We believe that everyone in the community deserves high-speed fiber infrastructure. Our FiberCity Aid program helps cover the cost of fiberoptic service for deserving households. We’ll work with the city to get a list of households that qualify for the deeply-discounted service,” Heaps said.
Construction resumed after Labor Day.
“We’re enormously excited and proud to bring this world-class network to Saratoga Springs,” said Heaps.
For further information, please visit https:/www.sifinetworks.com